In a mark-up session yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed and sent to the full House the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), which authorizes new projects for port improvement and would strengthen the nation’s water transportation networks. The legislation would also cut red tape and bureaucracy in order to accelerate the completion of these projects.
“While our association and our members devote a great deal of our focus to air cargo, we are also mindful that moving freight requires the efficient operation of all forms of transportation into one intermodal network,” said Brandon Fried, the AfA’s Executive Director. “So we wholeheartedly support any type of ‘port’ improvements - air, sea and land - as vital to keeping that network in world-class condition and internationally competitive.”
Fried noted that much of the cargo handled by the nation’s air freight forwarders is transferred across two or more modes of transportation between shipper and receiver. By investing in port infrastructure, he said that the bi-partisan WRRDA will shore up an important part of the network, particularly at a time when the Panama Canal expansion will facilitate the movement of larger ships and countries like Brazil spend aggressively to modernize and expand their ports.
“This is a simple proposition for us - well functioning seaports are critical to the movement of freight, and we don’t want to see freight moving through other countries because our infrastructure isn’t keeping up,” said Fried.